I glance at my television for one moment to find Fox News reporting a story live about a family who had been stranded in a forest in California. From Sunday to at the most Wednesday when reported rescued, a father and three kids, 12 and up, were “stranded” in the middle of Nowheretown, California trying to find “the right Christmas tree.” Oh, I’m on the edge of my seat now, bell and whooshing sound effects spam around trying to remind me how urgent this story is and how important it is for me to drop everything that I’m doing to watch Fox News and not any other channel, ever. (Side note: Apparently several websites have coined “Whooshes” for the term of these filler/attention grabbing sound effects.) Live on camera, the rescuer was interviewed about his heroic triumph; not sure if he was the pilot or not, but he was in the chopper. Over-exaggeration ensued as the ever so small window of opportunity so happened to allow them to find the frantic family on the very last pass in the helicopter. Of course it was the last pass, they found them; I don’t keep looking for my wallet after I find it. Anyway, short story long, Fox News was desperate for a “Holiday clip” that would buy them enough air-time to keep their almighty “24 hour news” status. The pilot wasn’t in a dangerous situation, the family was fine, just not smart enough to find/drink water, and the divorced mother probably just wanted to know if she could have custody now.
I always like to give people the benefit of the doubt. Hope they got their Saturnalia tree O.K. and celebrate their winter solstice, Saturn worshiping time well. Also, one cannot hate something that cannot hate them back, otherwise I’d state I hate television. The moral of the story is: Don’t go in the woods right before it snows, without a map, or without provisions to survive if you get lost. Also, don’t bother watching A Christmas Story, or any TV for that matter.
We’ve been in the midst of Presidential election campaigning for nigh unto a year now, and frankly, I’m getting sick of it all. I’m tired of the double speak from journalists and writers saying that we shouldn’t vote for a president who holds religious beliefs because religion shouldn’t play into this election (isn’t that letting religion play into the election?) or who advocate electing a woman/black man almost solely for those qualities (and speak out against sexism/racism with the next breath).
For your benefit, I’ve thrown together a list of things I’m putting into practice until November 08.
Ignore the media. It’s a good thing. I’m going to do myself a favor this year and research the candidates on my own- from unbiased and biased sources alike.
Avoid brainwashing. I will not accept the mindless, zombie-like groups’ opinion as fact *cough college campuses cough*
Beware of those zombie mobs. I will remember that they can be violent if opposition to Colbert or Ron Paul is heard.
Resist the temptation to follow the crowd. I know that everyone at school seems to support one person, but not only are my beliefs and opinions my own (hence my candidate), limiting my view to only my peers limits my “big-picture view” to one demographic and doesn’t accurately show the real big picture.
Weigh your choice against their real-world success. I will not support a candidate with no chance at all of winning. This will potentially make a viable and desirable 2nd choice candidate lose their chance as well.
Identify with a candidate. When the field narrows and I have a clear winner in my mind, I’ll support them proudly and try to convince others as well.
Get to know the candidates. Looking like an ignorant fool (while common in my case) is not an option when it comes to supporting a candidate.
Don’t be a poor loser. You don’t have to make a million websites if your candidate loses- Deal with it. And for crying out loud, scrape the loser’s sticker off of your bumper
That being said, there are a few good resources out there to help you decide what candidate you really like.
http://www.selectsmart.com/president/2008.html – A simple questionnaire that matches you to a candidate (don’t rely too much on this, as it only showed me a 55% match with “my” candidate even though we are identical on issues, although it portrayed my 2nd and 3rd choices accurately)